Case Study: Living beautifully by water; the no compromise approach


Let’s face it, who doesn’t dream of living in a waterside property with fabulous views and relaxing to the sound of water gently lapping by? As with most dreams, the reality can be different.


When Jody (pictured)  and Ray Shadforth bought their rather tired-looking two-storey building canal-front property, it was in desperate need of renovation. They aspired to exploit the views from their beautiful waterside home and, in order to do this, they wanted to install large glazed windows and doors in the building’s envelope.

Living in the home before the work started, they soon realized that insects liked living near water too! Jody also describes how the house is at the mercy of harsh sunlight, creating glare from the canal first thing in the morning, adding: “we would literally have to wear sunglasses while buttering a piece of toast!” Her young children waking up at dawn as low early morning sunlight lit up their bedrooms proved the ‘icing on the cake’.

As soon as Jody saw Centor Integrated Doors, with their built in screens and shades she had to have them, they represented the solution to her problems. Straightaway, she ordered nine sets to be installed; in the bedrooms upstairs and the living and dining area downstairs.

Now with the light-filtering shades built in as an integral part of the door system, the glare bouncing off the water is controlled, making the kitchen/diner a very pleasant place to be all day long. The added advantage of the UV-filtering shades is that they also protect her home furnishings from too much fading caused by direct sunlight and help regulate the room’s temperature.

Upstairs in her children’s bedrooms, Jody chose to have blackout shades built in to the door systems, which have given her and her husband much needed extra sleep in the mornings.

In the other living areas when the doors are open, built-in insect screens keep the home free of mosquitoes and moths, whilst allowing a gentle breeze to flow through, keeping the rooms cool.

“It’s funny to say that a door, a screen and a blind can improve your quality of life but it can. The integrated blinds and screens are amazing. We use them differently throughout the house but they all work where we’ve put them,” she said.

Now that their house renovation is complete, entertaining is commonplace at the Shadforths as they unveil their new home to friends and family. Jody loves to begin the great reveal by showing the concealed door locks and hinges first, before finally presenting the piece de resistance; the built-in screens and shades. She says the reaction of visitors is amazing. “If you can demonstrate them, people really think ‘wow these are fantastic’ and really, ‘why has this not been done before?’”

Shadforth3Jody won’t be doing another renovation project anytime soon but she’s thrilled with the solution the screens and shades have provided and the added bonus of uninterrupted views. “When you look outside with the doors open there is nothing blocking your view… that flow from inside to outside is just effortless. I’m very happy because I think we’ve used the space well. We’ve got very open plan living, which is great because it brings the outdoors in.”

And that’s the secret to living beautifully by water. Take a no compromise approach of integrated doors and don’t let insects, sunlight or the risk of people looking in put you off your dream; you can have it all.

For more information about Centor Integrated Doors visit



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